Community Flourishing Team

This past year, we’ve been in a yearlong process looking at how to be a blessing in our church and our neighbourhood. We were part of a group of 10 other churches that did this process together with training from leaders in the Christian Reformed Church. The big emphasis is on listening. 


    We want to be aware of the fact that He has already situated us in a particular place and a particular time. Listening involves being open to hearing what God has to say about this community. It involves being willing to receive with open imaginations what is possible for the future. 


    For instance, rather than just starting new ministries, we listened to what people already are passionate about and where they are currently involved. Rather than thinking of new things we could acquire or new ministries to run, we spent time looking at what we had in terms of space, equipment, and gifts. 


    This listening is extending to our neighbours. The most important piece is actually going out and speaking to our neighbours. Accompanying this, we also are looking into census data and connections with city planners. This will help us to listen well to the current situation and to anticipate what sorts of needs and strengths our community will have in the upcoming years.  

    Click here for an example of one of the exercises we did and something we encourage for each member of the church! 


There are three goals in this listening process. 


    We want to see Living Hope and its passions, skills, and resources better. In listening to our ministry leaders and looking into our ministries, we are confident that there is a lot already going on at Living Hope that we can celebrate. We know that often churches don’t need to start new ministries in serving their community but often we can benefit by naming and strategizing around the places we are already serving and present. 


    We want to find ways of encouraging people in using their gifts, skills, and passions in the neighbourhood. This means partnering with others and finding ways to get people involved. In the past, mission often meant meeting specific needs in the community. Rather than starting with needs, we are training ourselves to look towards strengths, gifts, and passions. 


    The first thing is that we learn an ongoing posture where we are a church that listens and pays attention to the neighbourhood around us. In order for us to partner in our community well and work with the strengths that are already there – we need to be continually listening. This means that this is not a process that we do once and then forget about it but something that is meant to help re-wire how we think about ministry. 

All of these goals fit within the broader hope that we continue to grow as a church who sees how God is already at work and helps to bring our neighbourhood into greater flourishing. 

To learn more about the process, check out the links and videos below!

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